After a 3-7 season under first-year head coach Sam Pittman in 2020, the Arkansas Razorbacks are looking to rise up the SEC standings in his second season. Pittman said the Razorbacks are working hard to take that next step in 2021.
The 2020 season started fairly promising for Arkansas with wins over divisional rivals Ole Miss and Mississippi State, as well as a win against SEC East member Tennessee to get them to a 3-3 mark. However, Arkansas would drop their final four games, including a 50-48 loss to Missouri. However, Pittman said a veteran group of returners is a reason for optimism in Fayetteville.
One question mark on Arkansas’ roster is at quarterback following the departure of Feleipe Franks to the NFL. His likely successor is K.J. Jefferson who gashed Mizzou for 274 yards and three touchdowns through the air in his only start last season. Pittman said that one game is a good indicator of Jefferson’s potential.
Rejoining Pittman’s staff for a second straight year is former Mizzou head coach, turned Arkansas defensive coordinator Barry Odom. Pittman expects the defense to improve in Odom’s second year at Arkansas.
Arkansas will open the season at home against a pair of former Southwestern Conference rivals in Rice on September 4th and Texas on September 11th. The Razorbacks will conclude the season November 26th against Mizzou, as they look to snap a five-game losing streak in the Battle Line Rivalry.